Shadyside’s Highland Avenue has a new coffeeshop called Adda | Pittsburgh City Paper

Shadyside’s Highland Avenue has a new coffeeshop called Adda

The shop’s name means “friendly conversation”

Adda, the new coffeeshop in Shadyside, takes its name from the Bengali word that means friendly conversation, or the place to hold such talks. And the name is also a nod to the shop’s stated commitment to be global in its approach — from fairly sourced tea and coffee and highlighting a world region each month (currently Africa). “Local” matters, too, with other goods coming from in town. 

The quirkily shaped, bright and airy space is attractively decorated with a silver ceiling, white tile floors and turquoise painted walls. For more light, there are some primo window seats — a handful of stools face out onto the liveliness of Highland Avenue, or patrons can watch the buses and trains go by from the comfort of a cushioned windowseat overlooking the busway.

Thankfully, the menu is not overwhelming. A dozen or so teas include black, green and herbal; coffee is available in drip, cold brew and in-house Chemex options, plus the standard upgrades (espresso, lattes, add-ins, etc.). Cookies, biscotti and scones (with a clotted-cream option) satisfy those who need a sweet treat. (Adda is also planning occasional High-Tea events.) For savory noshes, there is a small selection of salads, a quiche of the day and “toasts” (one with tuna, black olive and egg, another with pea purée, mint, chili pepper and lemon).

A lot of smaller details make Adda a winner: Beverages are served on little wooden plates; patrons get a timer to know when to pour steeping tea; each table has a small vase of fresh flowers; and there is a small shelf of books to peruse. Plus, friendly conversation is encouraged.